Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Wow! It has been a while since we've talked, and I'd love to hear all of your updates! School is sort of eating my life right now - which you probably know from Facebook. But! Thanksgiving break has been a very very wonderful thing. I'm now on my fourth draft of one paper, third of another, and I'm very close to being ready to present both! It feels so much better than it did a month ago when I was panicking that I wouldn't have anything to say. Now it's just surviving the three weeks between Thanksgiving and Winter Break and that's the easy part!

Anyway, the family and I went to see Big Hero 6 yesterday and it was cute. I'm very excited for lots of upcoming movies so I hope they'll still be around when school is out.

Cassie and I are very crazy and have been working on editing our novel through all of this. That is definitely something I'm thankful for, because it has given me an excuse to take a break more than once (okay, more than LOTS), and it has provided a very good distraction. If we haven't sent you a copy to read, and you want to read it, let us know! We're always looking for more feedback! (Actually, I should probably check that with Cass first, but I'm sort of assuming it's okay?)

As for things I'm thankful for, I'm thankful this crazy semester is almost over, and that I'm almost halfway through this ridiculous program. I'm thankful for everyone who has helped me get through it, because this semester has been particularly hard, mentally and emotionally. I'm thankful that we've all kept in touch so well, and that I got to see ALL of you for the first time in four years.

And speaking of Thanksgiving, I know it isn't practical, because we all have our own traditions, but how much fun would it be to have a friends Thanksgiving? Turkey and stuffing and fancy dinner around a huge table (got to fit in those of you with significant others and all) and just having a really fun time! We seriously need to get together more often, and when all of us are less busy!

I love and miss you all!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Long time, no post!

Hey guys! So, it's been a while, and I have no idea whose turn it is, but I have a "vacation" and two three four papers to procrastinate, so why don't I start us up again. Anybody wanna guess what I want you to talk about?

Yep, it's Thanksgiving week. Let's be thankful again. And give updates, because it has been a while. Just to make sure you're all alive and all :)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Time for a Check Up!

Oh, gosh, is that me, then? Kinda had a feeling it might be...

So, we're all super busy, I know, so I'd like to check in, I think.

How's life? What's going on? How are you doing?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Tak and the Power of Juju

This was actually a really difficult thing for me to decide.  Seriously, I was getting nervous that I wasn't going to be able to post at all...

But I finally decided on Tak and the Power of Juju.  This is a Playstation 2 game, and it takes place in an ancient world without technology.  The pupanunu people worship the moon goddess, whose power is contained within three magic moonstones housed in the hut of the head shaman.  Tlaloc, an evil shaman who was passed over for head shaman, decides to take his revenge and steal the moonstones so he can destroy (or control, I forget which) the moon goddess and her power.  Prophecies foretold of these happenings, and of the one that would save them: a warrior trained in battle that will relieve Tlaloc of the moonstones and save everyone.

There's just one problem:  the mighty warrior, along with everyone else in the tribe (save the head shaman and you/Tak) have been turned into sheep.  Needless to say, that's not supposed to happen.  The mighty warrior is supposed to be immune from livestock transformations, so right from the start, the player knows something isn't right here.

Yeah, this game has humor out the wazoo, and it's really creative the way it's set up.  Along with the moon goddess, the tribe worship Juju: spirits with special abilities.  At the very beginning of the game, the head shaman is trying to conjure one, and then spots the player in a "magic box" with a strange stick in his/her hand (lol!).  The player is a Juju, basically, and is called upon to help Tak save the tribe and defeat Tlaloc.  Eventually, it's revealed that Tak is, in fact, the mighty warrior of prophecy, not the oaf that the head shaman trained.

But screw that!  I want to be there in place of Tak!  The adventure is really cool, and the world is gorgeous.  The graphics aren't great, but the colors are stellar, and the characters Tak meets along the way are both hilarious and awesome.  There's one island where the people worship chickens (yeah...they do), there are helpful animals all over the place, and some of the magical abilities that Tak acquires throughout the game are really cool.  Tak also gets to talk to the dead a couple times, and lead some mummies through their domain so he can open up a gate into the spirit realm.  I actually haven't beaten this game yet (Tlaloc's an asshole), but maybe if *I* were in there instead of Tak, I would do a better job =P

Video Games!

Yes, yes, the topic is a day late.  So sue me...

Okay, so I know that most of us play video games (with the exception of Cassie), so I want your input on this.  When I was a kid, I would always wonder what it would be like to be sucked into my favorite games and play them out live instead of with a silly controller.  I mean, how awesome would it be to be able to literally walk up to Donald and Goofy in Kingdom Hearts or race alongside the other characters in Mario Kart?  So here's the topic: if you could live inside a video game - play through it live instead of sitting outside it on the couch - which would you prefer and why?  Tell us what your favorite sections of the game would be, how the world is different from our own, and what sort of abilities your game self would have.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Grandpa's Tree

And no, I'm not copying Cassie.  I do have a favorite tree, but it's not a particular type.  It is literally a particular tree in a specific place in the world.

My grandfather lived in the same neighborhood as my elementary school.  He, my grandmother, and my uncle cared for my sister and me after school every day, up until Grandma and Grandpa's deaths.  In the backyard of their house, there was a swing set.  It was a simple, unassuming thing - just two swings on a hardy frame that my sister and I spent a lot of time enjoying.  Grandpa would adjust the height of the swing as we grew so that our feet wouldn't hit the ground too much when we swung back down.  I remember how the ground was dug out underneath each swing from our feet, and the retaining wall running along the right side, made of slabs of stone.  I remember, once, my uncle found a bumblebee meandering along that wall, and she had a smaller bumblebee on her back.  I still can't believe that I wanted to squish them.  Then there was a really large shrub behind the swings, at the end of the wall, that we never went near, though I don't remember why.  I miss those swings...

Anyway, to the left of the swing set, there was a bar that my sister and I used to practice our gymnastics (you know, when we were still small enough to use it; it wasn't very far off the ground).  Further left, about ten feet from that bar, were two trees, growing behind the garage.  I have no idea what kind they are, but Grandpa always claimed that he had them specifically planted in his backyard for my sister and me.  Now, my grandfather made up a lot of stories (I cannot even begin to list all the things he did in the armed forces during World War II), but I believed this one wholeheartedly when I was a child, and I'd like to continue believing it.  I guess some evidence to the truth of the story could be that one tree was always taller than the other, though whether it was three years taller (because I'm three years older than my sister), I have no idea.

But this tree is easily my favorite in the whole world.  I don't care if Grandpa put it there specifically for me in his backyard.  The point is that it was my tree, and to be honest, I never realized how much I missed it until I started writing this post.  I don't even know if the tree is still there...

Sycamores and Simpson Garden

Tori posted a topic for us! Yay Tori! :) Good to see you around these parts, my friend!

So, trees, huh? I honestly hadn't really classified a favorite tree before being asked this question. I mean, I like the Christian symbolism of dogwoods, and I have fond memories of climbing an apple tree in Massachusetts and a giant fir tree in my front yard in Illinois, but unlike colors or books or moments involving Neville Longbottom, I never really had a favorite.

But then I started thinking about it, and one of my favorite scents has always been the scent of sycamore trees.

(Side note: Do you know how hard it is to have a favorite scent that is not widely known? Like, how do you describe it to someone else? If I say my favorite scent is roses or campfire smoke or baking bread, everyone knows what I mean. But if I say sycamore trees??? People say "What smell is that?" And it's not like a color or a sound -- I can't just show them or play a recording. And it took me forever to identify what produces the smell I love so much, but I did, and it is sycamore trees. And I'm very sorry I can't carry a vial of that scent with me so everyone can know exactly what I'm talking about, but that is the limitation of today. Maybe in the future. Side note done)

I love the smell of sycamore trees, and they're an interesting looking tree, too, so I'll go ahead and give sycamores the honor. :)

As for memories involving a plant, most of you know, I think, that my grandfather passed away about two years ago. (Side note: I can't believe it's been almost two years.) Well, last year, the family all pitched in to by him a memorial tree that was planted in Simpson Garden Park in Bowling Green. Grandma chose a blue spruce (I think -- I know it's a coniferous tree), so that it would look nice all year round, and there is a wonderful, wonderful plaque in Grandpa's memory. They planted it last year, back by the Japanese water garden (if any of you ever get the chance, go see it) because Simpson was one of Grandpa and Grandma's favorite places to go walking.

Simpson is also where Chase and I are holding our wedding reception, largely because of Grandma and Grandpa. So I know that we will be getting some of our wedding pictures done by Grandpa's tree. We had the chance to go visit when I was in town last, and I'm really glad that we're going to be able to have our reception there, that it's all official now.

So yeah. That's my bit. Hope to see us breathe some life back into this blog! :)